MHSAA 2022 Girls Fast Pitch Championship


VarsityBoissevain SchoolÉcole secondaire Neelin High SchoolCollège Béliveau
Boissevain School


Carman/Maimi (Co-op)Vincent Massey High School, Brandon
Stonewall Collegiate InstituteBoissevain School
Goose Lake High SchoolÉcole St Joachim
Nellie McClung Collegiate InstituteNeepawa Area Collegiate Institute
Pilot Mound Collegiate InstituteCollège Béliveau
École secondaire Neelin High SchoolHelen Betty Osborne Ininiw Edcuation Resource Centre


Boissevain wins first MHSAA softball title

By: Lucas Punkari
Posted: 12:04 AM CDT Sunday, Jun. 5, 2022

For the first time in program history, the Boissevain Broncos are Manitoba High School Athletic Association provincial softball champions.

The top-ranked Broncos, who had finished third at the event in 2016, captured the title Saturday afternoon at the Ashley Neufeld Softball Complex with a 4-1 triumph over the host Neelin Spartans.

“Even though we were ranked high coming into this weekend, I felt like we were a little under-prepared,” Broncos coach Allan Hicks said. “We didn’t really have that many games as we’d normally would at this time of the year, especially after tournaments in Portage la Prairie and Winkler were both cancelled.

“It turned out to be one of those situations where we got better and better in every game. We bounced back from a tough loss in the round-robin (to the College Beliveau Barracudas from Winnipeg) and the girls just kept improving each time out, especially as they got used to the pitching.”

Grade 10 student Danika Nell led the way for the Broncos as she earned tournament MVP honours.

The star pitcher for the Westman Magic under-17 club team kickstarted the offence in the final with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning and proceeded to strike out 13 Spartans batters during the course of the seven-inning affair.

“There’s a big group of seniors on our team that haven’t been able to play high school ball over the last couple of years due to the pandemic, so to be able to help them and our school win a title for the first time is really special,” Nell said.

After finishing 1-1 in pool play, the Broncos defeated the St. Joachim Braves in a play-in game Friday afternoon.

They then edged the Vincent Massey Vikings in a 3-0 extra-inning quarterfinal affair Saturday morning before doubling up the Pilot Mound Pilots 4-2 in the semifinal.

The quarterfinal matchup was a pitching duel between Nell and Vikings Grade 9 student Sally Leask, with the Broncos finally moving out in front with a three-run inning in the top of the seventh.

“I have a ton of respect for Sally,” Nell said. “She’s a great pitcher and I knew it was going to be a heck of a matchup if we ended up facing each other here.

“I kept saying to the girls in between innings that we just needed to get one run and they came through like they always do. Our team made clutch plays and clutch hits all weekend and that was a huge part in us winning the whole tournament.”

The loss ended a strong weekend for the Vikings, who had picked up wins over the Goose Lake Angels of Roblin and the Nellie McClung Stingers from Manitou on Friday to earn a bye to the quarterfinals.

“We had a feeling that we would meet Boissevain somewhere down the line, but I don’t think we expected to square off this early,” Vikings coach Braden Pilling said.

“I’m very proud of the girls and what they did this weekend. They gave it their all and it was just a couple of plays here or there and that ended up being the difference.”

Although the Spartans just missed out on winning the provincial title – they had brought the tying run to the plate in the final frame before Nell shut down their late rally – the hosts turned in an impressive performance in their first ever appearance at the event.

They earned a bye to the quarterfinal round following a 10-0 romp over the Neepawa Tigers Friday and followed that up with 3-1 and 10-5 triumphs on Saturday over the Stonewall Rams and the Barracudas.

“They never stopped fighting and came together really quick. We’re a little team from Winnipeg that were underdogs coming into the week and the girls just found a way.”

For Pilots head coach Ruth Loney, the fourth place result was one that she was extremely proud of, especially as the team entered the week as the 10th overall seed.

“These girls have nothing to hang their heads about,” Loney said. “We were in every game and this group was one that always played well with their backs against the wall.”  

The Barracudas reached the medal round with a 4-3 win over Goose Lake, while the Pilots advanced to the final four with a 4-3 triumph over Neepawa.

“Our goal when we came to Brandon was to make it to the second day of the provincials and we did just that,” Tigers coach Ryan McLaughlin said. “We have a lot of first year players on this team and they’ve come a long way from when the season began.”

“We knew would have some tough battles this weekend, especially we didn’t play a lot this spring, but the girls put in a full effort to reach the playoffs,” Angels coach Amanda Sicinski added. “They picked up their game and we learned a lot from being here, which is going to be huge as we try to come back to the provincials in 2023.”

EXTRA INNINGS: In addition to Nell’s MVP performance, the Broncos were also represented on the tournament all-star team by Jazymn Barwick and Mya Dueck. Also making the squad were Vincent Massey’s Leask, Neelin’s Danica Black, Pilot Mound’s Alexa Guilford and Robyn Anderson, Stonewall’s Emerson McAuley and College Beliveau’s Taylor Stroniciski and Megan Johnston.


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